Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kaine gets outsiders to help him break his promise

It's true. You may know that Governor Tim Kaine ran a campaign promising not to raise taxes for transportation until he locked up the trust fund. Then, before they had time to tear down the inagural stage in Williamsburg, he was proposing raising taxes for transportation.

The Virginia House is doing it's best to help Tim Kaine keep his promises to Virginians. But Tim is fighting them every step of the way. And now he has hired mercenaries to help him do his dirty work.

As reported in today's Potomac News column headlined Kaine's machine pressures McQuigg (by KAFIA HOSH), Governor Kaine has hired an Illinois telemarketing group to badger Virginians into calling McQuigg's office to make her support his tax increase proposal. These calls apparently filled up her voicemail, and kept her staff very busy.

But the article notes that the calls were from the 815 area code, which is in Illinois. Further investigation showed that in fact a company in Illinois is running a phone blitz. From the article:

Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, is financing the media blitz to exert public pressure on members of the Republican-lead House in supporting his road program for the state.

The campaign involves phone calls to the general public with a recorded message from the governor.

"The call is to average voters," said Mo Elleithee, the PAC's spokesman "It's the governor's voice explaining to people his transportation plans, and asking them to support his long-term transportation solutions."

At the conclusion of the call, a live person asks the constituent if he would like to talk to his delegate, and then patches the voter through.

The article notes that the calls do not mention Kaine's tax increase, only the supposed benefits of the extra spending. They quote the Speaker of the House, Rep. Howell, from an AP story, who said "The fact that he provides false information in his own voice is, I believe, unconscionable."

But what I want to know is, what happened to the happy bipartisanship, the ability to work together, that Governor Kaine touted in his State of the Union response delivered just after his inauguration? Targetting people for telemarketing blitzes simply because they disagree with you doesn't seem like a good way to foster that spirit of non-partisan cooperation.

And since Delegate McQuigg is simply trying to help Kaine keep his campaign promise, shouldn't he be thanking her rather than making her life miserable?

If the people of McQuigg's district find out that there dinners and evening activities are being interrupted by people from out-of-state paid by Kaine's group to mislead them about his plans, and to pressure them to call their delegate, would they feel all warm and fuzzy inside about how we are all getting along?

Kaine's high-pressure tactics may be backfiring:

McQuigg is also unimpressed with Kaine's attempt to reach her voters, dismissing his campaign as a "childish" approach.

The delegate typically polls her district, and said she relies on survey results to make legislative decisions that represent constituents' opinions.

Although McQuigg is one of the more flexible GOP delegates, she was visibly annoyed with the numerous phone calls she's received courtesy of Kaine's PAC.

"I will tell you that Gov. Kaine with his tactics makes me a lot less persuadable," McQuigg said. "I'm here to represent my citizens, and I'm trying to listen to both sides."

I hope that Delegate McQuigg can resist this undue pressure from outside agitators, and that the delegates in the house will stand together to help Tim Kaine keep his campaign promise to find ways to fix our transportation problems without raising new taxes before he's sequestered the transportation trust fund.

Because if Tim Kaine doesn't value his own word, somebody else ought to do it for him.

Riley, Not O'Reilly has his own take over at the new Virginia Virtucon site, along with an excellent South Park characterization of Governor "Timmy".

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